Festival of Small Halls, a show that brings entertainment to community halls, is kicking off its latest tour in Yetman next week.
Ukulele strummer and drummer Bobby Alu and two-piece indie pop-rock band This Way North are featured on the upcoming Autumn Tour 2021: New South Wales.
Presented by veteran festival producers Woodfordia Inc, the much-loved not-for-profit music tour is taking on a packed tour schedule visiting 20 community halls across NSW.
Despite the challenges of putting on shows during the pandemic, Festival of Small Halls has continued to keep small towns clapping with extra effort and support provided to communities to keep these regional tours safely running.
"We were so inspired and impressed by the way community halls have been able to adopt these new conditions and not shy away from the extra hoops they have had to jump through to keep their communities safe," Producer Eleanor Rigden said.
"Towards the end of 2020 when we got back on the road, hall committees and local groups really stepped up, realising it was more important than ever to support their communities to safely come together after a year of difficulty and isolation."
It's been three years since Leisha Jungalwalla and Cat Leahy of This Way North traded their bricks-and-mortar homes for life on the road, and that spirit of adventure and unbridled joy has taken up permanent residence in their music.
Taking out Best Outer Suburban Act 2018 at The Age Music Victoria Awards, This Way North are on a steady incline. It's easy to forget they are just a two-piece band.
Drummer/vocalist Leahy and guitarist/vocalist Jungalwalla create explosive energy and expansive sound, that translates effortlessly from the studio to the stage.
The duo are no strangers to the road and are thrilled to be heading out.
"We are beyond excited to resume life on the road with Festival of Small Halls, touring regionally is one of our favourite things to do, the places, the people, playing shows, the road, it's our happy place," Leahy said.
Amidst smooth harmonies, rhythms inspired by a strong family lineage of Polynesian performance Bobby Alu tunes have a way of sneaking into the subconscious and taking up residence.
For Bobby Alu, touring regional NSW is just like going home.
"I couldn't think of a more perfect way to get back to touring after the longest break I've had since hitting the road over a decade ago. I'm really excited to visit, explore and perform in these regional towns," Bobby said.
Though it's not all palm trees and daydreams - there's a robust energy in Alu's mastery of traditional Samoan log drums, and a vitality to his song writing that nods to world, roots and pop intelligence. Audiences should anticipate gentle optimism rather than forceful instruction and may wish to replicate the reflections taken from each performance the next day in a hammock.
Festival of Small Halls Autumn Tour 2021 starts on Wednesday, April 7 at the Yetman Memorial Hall before continuing on to 19 communities.
- Tickets on sale www.festivalofsmallhalls.com
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